Nome for Dummies
June 30, 2012 2:08 PM   Subscribe

[Alaska filter] We are heading to Nome, Alaska for six nights in mid August. We need your suggestions for everything to make our week great.

We already live in Alaska, just never been to Nome. We know about bears and moose. We are outdoorsy and adventuresome. We like hiking and kayaking, eating, meeting people, hearing music, walking beaches, exploring ruins/junk, views and animals (birds are great, but we're not so much into birding for the sake of birding).

Fine with getting dirty, but prefer to stay someplace that isn't. At minimum we strive for clean lodging with a very comfortable queen bed, hot shower, a modicum of privacy and use of kitchen facilities. We're open to staying far afield for a couple of nights if a remote community has lodging. Apart from that, what should we do and see? Avoid? Where's the best place to find a car? Favorite hikes? Decent food in places that aren't smoky? Web sites with info?

We don't care about bars unless there's great music inside, tho we may venture into one for an afternoon beer and local color. Besides, it's summer in Alaska; who wants to be inside? (in case of rain, where should we go?). Of note: Due to recent injury, camping and/or carrying a big backpack are probably out, though we're not ruling out such things at this time.

So far we've heard or learned, or just think that:
1) we should go to some hot spring that requires advance permit;
2) an excursion to Solomon for a couple of nights might be fun;
3) a float down a river might be great fun if we can figure out gear and transportation and such;
4) berry picking may be great;
5) we should see the musk ox.

Money is an issue inasmuch as a brief web review of our lodging + car options alone will run about $250/day. And we expect food to be expensive. Those factors edge out much in the way of spending on extras.

Appreciate advice or leads!
posted by AnOrigamiLife to Travel & Transportation around Nome, AK (2 answers total)
My husband and I just visited Nome in March, and while I don't have a lot of tips, here goes:

Airport Pizza is a pretty decent place to eat. Their peach smoothies, and fry bread with raspberry sauce are fantastic.

There are a lot of bars in Nome, most seem pretty rough and we didn't go to any, but I believe one (The Polaris maybe?) has an open mike night that sounded fun.

There is a vistor's center that I think could point you in the direction of some if not all of the activities you mentioned. Another option is the UAF-Northwest Campus--I would suggest checking in with them to see if there are any lectures/field trips going on during your stay. I went to a musk ox lecture (which would have had a field trip but the herd was not near town) for free and then a qiviut knitting class that was $35.

As far as lodging, it seems like there are just two hotels in town, the Nugget and Aurora Inn. We stayed with family, but I think I heard that of the two, the Aurora is a little nicer.

August-September is blueberry season in Nome.

Have fun. If you're like a lot of people, you may not want to leave once you get there!
posted by auntie maim at 6:51 PM on June 30, 2012

Try your hand at panning for gold on the beach.
posted by summerstorm at 8:19 PM on June 30, 2012

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